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British-Style Brass Bands in U.S. Colleges and Universities
Since the 1980s, British-style brass bands - community ensembles modeled after the all-brass and percussion bands of Great Britain - have enjoyed a modest regeneration in the United States. During this same period, as many as 23 colleges and universities in the U.S. have founded their own curricular or extra-curricular brass band. The purpose of this research study was: to discover which schools sponsor a brass band currently; to discover which schools formerly sponsored a brass band but have since discontinued it; to describe the operational practices of collegiate brass bands in the U.S.; and to determine what collegiate brass band conductors perceive to be the challenges and benefits of brass band in the curriculum. Data for the study were collected between February, 2015 and February, 2016 using four custom survey instruments distributed to conductors of college and university brass bands. The results showed that 11 American collegiate institutions were sponsoring a brass band during the period of data collection. Additional findings included descriptions of the operations of collegiate brass bands, such as availability of credit, rehearsal time, and instrumentation. Results also included the conductors' reported perceptions that both challenges and benefits are inherent in student brass band participation, and that brass band is a positive experience for students. An additional 3 community-based brass bands, not sponsored by but located near a college or university, were found to include collegiate students among their player personnel. A total of 9 schools formerly sponsoring brass bands were found to have discontinued their program. A repertoire analysis of 733 titles of compositions performed by both active and formerly active brass bands revealed that bands performed original works for brass band nearly as often as transcribed or arranged works.
University Coursework and Field Experiences: Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions and Experiences with Key Components of Response to Intervention
Pre-service teachers are entering the field as novice practitioners with concerns regarding their ability to confidently and effectively implement key components of response to intervention (RTI). This concurrent mixed-methods study explores pre-service teachers' (N =169) perceptions and experiences with key components of RTI (e.g., screening, multi-tiered evidence-based intervention, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making). A questionnaire in conjunction with open-response items and four focus groups provided data to identify aspects of university coursework and field experiences that contribute to pre-service teachers' perceived ability to confidently implement key components of RTI. The results of this investigation show between group differences in perception and experiences related to RTI. Special education certification seekers reported higher perceived confidence, receiving more coursework, and having more field experiences with RTI than elementary, middle grade, and secondary certification seekers. Among all groups, secondary certification seekers reported the lowest confidence, least amount of coursework, and fewest field experiences with RTI. Pre-service teachers in this study valued coursework and knowledgeable instructors who emphasized the components of RTI and participating in hands-on class activities. Participants noted benefits from or a desire for field experiences with struggling learners and having mentors with knowledge and expertise in RTI. Study findings suggest providing pre-service teachers with comprehensive preparation in RTI during coursework in combination with field experiences working with struggling learners may increase perceived confidence and is valued.
Special Education Teachers Self-Reported Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism in Texas Public Schools
Currently there is extensive literature on evidence-based practices (EBP) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is limited research on whether or not these practices are implemented in the classroom by teachers serving students with ASD. Special education teachers are responsible for the learning outcomes of students across a range of ages and disabilities. This study investigated teachers' self-reported use of EBP and what factors influence implementation. Participants included 129 special education teachers in Texas public schools. Data utilizing descriptive statistics and logistic regression was conducted to determine what factors (i.e., education, employment, teaching experience and training methods) predicted implementation of a particular practice. Although 67% of teachers reported using EBPs, teachers' employment and training experiences did not predict the implementation of a particular practice. Information from this study can be used to enhance professional development for teachers serving students with ASD.
What's on Tap, Texas? Homebrew to Craft Brew
"What's on Tap, Texas?" is an exploration of the interrelated worlds of the home brewer and the craft brewer in Texas.
An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training to Teach Discrete Trial and Naturalistic Instruction to Novice Therapists
Effective and efficient training strategies are needed to provide training to novel therapists whom provide early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children with autism. We evaluated the effects of interactive computer-based training (ICT) on novice therapists' implementation of two, common EIBI instructional techniques: discrete-trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic instruction. Results demonstrated that ICT improved trainees' instructional fidelity during role-plays with a confederate for DTI instruction and also with a child with autism for both DTI and naturalistic instruction. As a result, the requirement for supervisor feedback on performance was minimized. In addition, results suggest that child language improved as a result of improved therapist performance.
The Impact on Achievement from Student and Parent Attitudes towards Using Smartphones in School
The purpose of this research was to determine what type of correlations existed between student and parent attitudes towards using smartphones in school and the resulting impact on achievement, specifically for low-achieving students. Participants in the study were third-grade students and their parents from a primary school in Singapore. The study employed a quantitative analysis to understand the correlations among the different participant groups. The instruments used were Likert-based surveys, along with scores from mid-year and end-of-year achievement exams in English and science. The three most relevant major findings showed that (a) low-achieving students show a positive attitude toward completing science activities, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; (b) the parents of low-achieving students appear to provide their children with autonomy in using their smartphones, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; and (c) having a smartphone and using the smartphone to complete school work is important to low-achieving students and their parents.
Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation
Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
Infusing Automatic Question Generation with Natural Language Understanding
Automatically generating questions from text for educational purposes is an active research area in natural language processing. The automatic question generation system accompanying this dissertation is MARGE, which is a recursive acronym for: MARGE automatically reads generates and evaluates. MARGE generates questions from both individual sentences and the passage as a whole, and is the first question generation system to successfully generate meaningful questions from textual units larger than a sentence. Prior work in automatic question generation from text treats a sentence as a string of constituents to be rearranged into as many questions as allowed by English grammar rules. Consequently, such systems overgenerate and create mainly trivial questions. Further, none of these systems to date has been able to automatically determine which questions are meaningful and which are trivial. This is because the research focus has been placed on NLG at the expense of NLU. In contrast, the work presented here infuses the questions generation process with natural language understanding. From the input text, MARGE creates a meaning analysis representation for each sentence in a passage via the DeconStructure algorithm presented in this work. Questions are generated from sentence meaning analysis representations using templates. The generated questions are automatically evaluated for question quality and importance via a ranking algorithm.
Innovation Output and the Cost of Funds
Do firms with higher levels of innovation output, measured by patent counts and citations, enjoy lower costs of funds? The process to develop and apply for patents involves valuable resources. Thus, applying for a patent is a credible signal that the underlying invention is valuable. This value is validated to some degree when the patent is granted. In addition, patents contain detailed information about the firm's inventions and provide collateral value as they can be sold and licensed. The number of citations a firm receives act as a proxy for high-quality inventions, active networking, and pioneering. These attributes are expected to attract investors and reduce the cost of funds. Univariate and cross-sectional regression analyses of a sample consisting of 404,595 firm-years, involving firms from twenty-eight countries spanning from 1976 to 2012, demonstrate a significant negative association between innovation output and the cost of funds. The evidence suggests that the marginal benefit of innovation diminishes as innovation output increases. The results are robust to different measures of the cost of equity and the cost of debt. The negative association between the cost of equity and innovation output is economically larger for younger and smaller firms. The long-term level of innovation seems to be more important to shareholders than short-term changes of innovation. In addition, shareholders demonstrate an ability to discern between low and high-quality innovations, as they require lower rates of returns when initial patents exhibit a high quality. Shareholders place more value on innovation output when firms operate in countries with legal systems that are more effective in controlling self-dealing practices, in countries that have higher economic freedom, and in countries that have more developed financial markets. The correlation between the cost of debt and innovation output is predominantly derived by larger, more mature, and more leveraged firms. Innovation output ...
The Use of the Trumpet in Early Seventeenth Century Spanish Music Dramas: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Works by Sebastian Duron, Joaquin Martinez de la Roca, and Alessandro Scarlatti
The purpose of this project is to conduct and analysis of the role and symbolism of the trumpet in two early eighteenth century Spanish music dramas: La Guerra de los Gigantes by Sebastian Duron and Los Desagravios de Troya by Joaquin Martinez de la Roca.
Johannes Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem: A Comparison of the Reduced Orchestration Techniques in Joachim Linckelmann's Chamber Ensemble Version to Brahms's Four-Hand Piano Version
Recognizing the challenges small groups have to program a major work, in 2010, Joachim Linckelmann created a chamber ensemble arrangement of Johannes Brahms's "Ein deutsches Requiem." In 1869, J.M. Reiter-Biedermann published Brahms's four-hand piano arrangement of "Ein deutsches Requiem." Brahms's arrangement serves as an excellent comparison to the chamber ensemble version by Linckelmann, since it can be assumed that Brahms chose to highlight and focus on the parts he deemed the most important. This study was a comparative analysis of the two arrangements and was completed in three stages. The first stage documented every significant change in Joachim Linckelmann's recent chamber arrangement. The second stage classified each change as either a reduction, reorganization, or elimination. The final stage of the analysis was to compare the choices made by Linckelmann to those made by Brahms. The results show that Linckelmann's choices for reduction, reorganization, and elimination closely align with those of Brahms. The only differences between the arrangements can be attributed to Linckelmann's focus on retaining the original orchestral timbre and Brahms's focus on providing the original vocal parts.
Evaluation of Agreement among Respondents to Anecdotal Assessments and Correspondence between Anecdotal and Experimental Analysis Outcomes
Study 1 evaluated agreement among five respondents using the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Respondents provided ratings for 20 target behaviors exhibited by 10 individuals. At least 4/5 raters agreed on the primary maintaining variable in 80% of cases with the FAST, 70% of cases with the MAS, and 55% of cases with the QABF. Study 2 evaluated correspondence between results of anecdotal assessments and experimental functional analysis for 10 target behaviors selected from Study 1. Correspondence between the experimental functional analyses was 60% with the FAST and the MAS, 50% with the QABF.
Particle Image Velocimetry Sensitivity Analysis Using Automatic Differentiation
A particle image velocimetry (PIV) computer software is analyzed in this work by applying automatic differentiation on it. We create two artificial images that contained particles that where moved with a known velocity field over time. These artificial images were created with parameters that we would have on real PIV experiments. Then we applied a PIV software to find the velocity output vectors. As we mentioned before, we applied automatic differentiation through all the algorithm to track the derivatives of the output vectors regarding interesting parameters declared as inputs. By analyzing these derivatives we analyze the sensitivity of the output vectors to changes on each one of the parameters analyzed. One of the most important derivatives calculated in this project was the derivative of the output regarding the image intensity. In future work we plan to use this derivative combined with the intensity probability distribution of each image pixel, to find PIV uncertainties. If we achieve this goal we will find an uncertainty method that will save computational power and will give uncertainty values with computer accuracy.
Universally Designed Playground Needs Assessment for Flag Pole Hill in White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas
There is limited anthropological research on inclusive play and universally designed playgrounds and this study aims to make some contribution in this field. This was a qualitative research study guided by anthropological theory and methods, conducted for For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) Foundation. FTLOTL is a non-profit organization located in Dallas, Texas, dedicated to White Rock Lake Park's maintenance. In 2014, FTLOTL became of the view that the park's current playgrounds lacked accessibility for differently-abled children. Therefore, FTLOTL decided to undertake a renovation project of Flag Pole Hill playground to incorporate inclusiveness and diversity in the playground design. The overarching objective of this exploratory, ethnographic needs assessment was to provide insights for an inclusive playground using universal design for families with special needs children. Fourteen parents, each with at least one child having physical, social, or intellectual disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Texas metroplex were interviewed. The interviews were semi structured, each lasting for about an hour and were digitally recorded. Later these audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and then coded using Dedoose. The coded data was synthesized into coherent themes and sub-themes and finally organized into formal research findings. Observations were made of existing universally designed as well as typical playgrounds in this region. All parents interviewed supported the playground initiative and gave suggestions for physical accessibility along with social inclusion. They expressed their frustrations and apprehensions about the usability of current playgrounds. They also shared their preferences for facilities, features, and equipment to support their children's physical and social needs as well as their own. There was a unanimous agreement that a universally designed playground would have recreational, therapeutic and emotional benefits for participants and would improve the quality of their family lives and build a more closely-knit community.
Costly Ignorance: The Denial of Relevance by Job Seekers: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia
Job centers aid businesses seeking qualified employees and assist job seekers to select and contact employment and training services. Job seekers are also offered the opportunity to assess their skills, abilities, qualifications, and readiness. Furthermore, job centers ensure that job seekers are complying with requirements that they must meet to benefit from job assistance programs such as unemployment insurance. Yet, claimants often procrastinate and/or suspend their job search efforts even though such actions can make them lose their free time and entitlements, and more importantly they may lose the opportunity to take advantage of free information, services, training, and financial assistance for getting a job to which they have already made a claim. The current work looks to Chatman's "small worlds" work, Johnson's comprehensive model of information seeking, and Wilson's "costly ignorance" construct for contributions to understanding such behavior. Identification of a particular trait or set of traits of job seekers during periods of unemployment will inform a new Job Seeking Activities Model (JSAM). This study purposely examines job seeker information behavior and the factors which influence job seekers' behavior, in particular, family tangible support as a social norm effect. A mixed method, using questionnaires for job hunting completers and non-completers and interviews for experts, was employed for data collection. Quantitative data analysis was conducted to provide the Cronbach α coefficient, Pearson's product moment correlation, an independent-sample t-test, effect size, and binary Logit regression. The qualitative data generated from the interview transcript for each section of the themes and subthemes were color coded. Finally, simultaneous triangulation was carried out to confirm or contradict the results from each method. The findings show that social norms, particularly uncontrolled social support provided by their families, are more likely to make job seekers ignore the relevant information about jobs available to them in favor ...
Analysis of Pre-ictal and Non-Ictal EEG Activity: An EMOTIV and LabVIEW Approach
In the past few years, the study of electrical activity in the brain and its interactions with the body has become popular among researchers. One of the hottest topics related to brain activity is the epileptic seizure prediction. Currently, there are several techniques on how to predict a seizure; however, most of the techniques found in research papers are just mathematical models and not system implementations. The seizure prediction approach proposed in this thesis paper is achieved using the EMOTIV Epoc+ headset, MATLAB, and LabVIEW as the analog and digital signal processing devices. In addition, this thesis project incorporates the use of the Hilbert Huang transform (HHT) method to obtain intrinsic mode functions (IMF) and instantaneous frequency components of the transform. From the IMFs, features as variation coefficient (VC) and fluctuation indexes (FI) are extracted to feed a support vector machine that classifies the EEG data as pre-ictal and non-ictal EEGs. Outstanding patterns in non-ictal and pre-ictal are observed and demonstrated by significant differences between both types of EEG signals. In other words, a classification of EEG signals according to a category can be achieved proving that an epileptic seizure prediction technology has a future in engineering and biotechnology fields.
Creating a Verbal Community for Describing Emotional Responses within a Contingency Lens: The Effects of a Brief Training Workshop
Observing emotional responses is recognized as a valuable clinical skill in a variety of professions, including applied behavior analysis. Emotional responses can flag possible contingencies thereby guiding a behavior analyst to better select valid measures, goals, and procedures. Additionally, emotional responses can be goals in and of themselves. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a workshop on the observation and description of emotional responses by behavior analysts-in-training. The procedures included instructions, modeling, practice, discussion and feedback. The workshop included a blend of trainer presentation and interteaching strategies. The effects of the workshop were evaluated using a single-subject A-B design with multiple probe measures across four students. During probe assessments participants watched short video clips of family interactions and wrote a descriptive narrative in response to several questions. This created a permanent record for quantitative evaluation and analysis. The study resulted in an increase in the number of descriptions of emotional responses among all participants. The participants also increased responses tying the emotional response to external environmental events more often in the post-workshop assessment than the pre-workshop assessment. Results are discussed within the context of training applied behavior analysts, the analysis of verbal behavior, and the role of emotions in clinical practice.
Using Situated Learning, Community of Practice, and Guided Online Discourse in Healthcare Education for Learning Effective Interprofessional Communication
The problem exists that there are no education initiatives focused on teaching and taking into practice the skills of effective interprofessional discourse in this online, asynchronous, professional environment. The purpose of this study was to examine whether it is possible for students in the health professions to learn to practice effective interprofesssional online discourse in an electronic health record. This was a mixed methods study that included both quantitative ad qualitative inquiry underpinned by post positivism and used a method triangulation research design model. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed from an educational intervention and simulated electronic health record exercise. The students' perceptions of their practice in an electronic health record did not necessarily match their knowledge and skills in this group of students. Emergent themes from the study pointed in the possible direction of perceived value of the exercise, prior experience in an electronic health record, and logistical barriers to the activity. Perceived time constraints was a particularly strong concern of the students. The emergent themes might be valuable considerations for other interprofessional programs looking to implement similar activities concerning the electronic health record.
Academic Progress Scores to Predict Performance on a State Assessment
This quantitative study examined seventh-grade reading scores to determine the extent to which certain demographic variables (race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status) explain and MAP reading scores predict reading scores on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in a selected northeast Texas public school. Standardized assessments only compare the relative performance of an individual student to other groups of students using scaled scores, which can vary from year to year and from state to state. With the advent of computer adaptive testing, this study provides information on the predictive validity of benchmark assessments. Specifically, this study looked for predictive evidence that indicates how accurately test data can predict criterion scores. Findings revealed, through a multiple regression analysis, that the fall MAP Rasch Unit (RIT) scores predicted the STAAR scale scores. Using SPSS version 22, the data were entered and analyzed in a multiple regression model to determine the presence of a statistical trend or lack thereof. Demographic data and MAP scores were entered into the regression model to examine the predictive validity of the MAP assessment in determining student performance on the STAAR seventh-grade state-mandated reading assessment. The statistical analysis revealed that MAP RIT scores explain a significant variance related to seventh-grade STAAR reading scale scores. There is a vital need for tools that improve a student's academic development and MAP assessments have been found to predict performance on state-mandated assessments.
The Social Psychology of Social Media Reactions to Terrorism
Columnists and social media users commonly stated that terrorist attacks resonate differently in the world and they speculated on some potential reasons such as familiarity, number of victims, and the difference in expectations of a country to be a stage for a terrorist attack to explain this difference. An academic perspective, more specifically a sociological one, is needed to bring light to this debate. In this study, I aimed to understand the discourse after terrorist attacks and to find out if there is a difference between reactions to terrorist attack based on where they happened. This paper embraces a text mining approach to uncover what topics are discussed after four cases of terrorist attacks and to reveal if there is a discrepancy in reactions towards terrorist attacks based on the country they happened. The study consists of two parts. In the first part, the determinants of the public interest and support and how public interest differentiates between different cases of terror attacks is explored. In the second part, topic sentiment analysis is conducted to reveal the nature of the discourse on terrorism. Using the insights from social identity theory, realistic conflict theory and integrated threat theory, I argued that social group categorization in the context of terrorism takes place in a dichotomous manner as Western and Non-Western. This argument, social self-identities being based on ‘West vs. the Rest' mentality in the context of terrorism, is supported by the statistical evidence and the topic model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Strength of a Witness: Empowerment and Resiliency in the Aftermath of Atrocity
Victims and witnesses that testify before an international criminal tribunal such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) willingly subject themselves to scrutiny and bare their wounds before the world. Does this experience cause these vulnerable individuals undue psychological harm, re-traumatization, or worse? Existing literature indicates this may be the case, however using a new dataset I find the opposite to be true. Witnesses at the ICTY report feeling more positive than negative after their experiences on the stand. As the first systematic study on witness mental wellbeing, these findings contradict expectations found in previous research.
The Influence of Population on Wrongful Convictions
With criminal cases continuing to be exonerated across the United States, research must be done on the subject to advance current practices to reduce its occurrence in the future. This study combines county population data with the National Registry of Exonerations to analyze the contributing factors to wrongful convictions and the possible effect of population on their frequency. The objective of this study was to identify specific policy changes based on the five contributing factors to wrongful convictions that could be applied to population specific areas. The results yielded multiple patterns that are discussed thoroughly. These findings allowed the introduction of policy changes and proposals for future research.
Cardiovascular Fetal Programming in Quail (Colinus virginianus), An Avian Comparative Model
The consequences of early embryonic insults and how they affect subsequent life reflects the emerging concept of "fetal programming". The aim of this project is to study the effects of embryonic insults as they subsequently manifest themselves in adults, with emphasis on the heart and vasculature. My experiments establish that fetal programming operates on the bobwhite quail inducing similar changes as those observed in mammalians and other birds. The quail's fast development provides reliable data in a short period of time than other avian models (e.g. domestic chicken). Data on quail showed a correlation between egg mass and hatchling mass; where small eggs produce small hatchlings but a high mortality made it impractical as a stressor for this study. Hypoxia was used as a stressor during embryonic incubation, where it induced a low hatching weight in quail that was not observable in adult birds. Morphological measurements demonstrated an increased ventricular collagen content and reduced ventricular lumen in birds in adults incubated in hypoxia consistent with hypertension. The hematological analyzes showed few differences indicating organ remodeling instead of hematopoietic compensation. The assessment of vascular reactivity pointed out an impaired endothelium dependent relaxation commonly associated to hypertension in birds and mammals. Fetal programming could be a widespread response to an adverse prenatal environment in endotherms and the resulting data from this work contributes to our understanding of fetal programming in vertebrates and its long term consequences.
Banks and Bankers in Denton County, Texas, 1846-1940
This thesis investigates the importance banks, and bankers had with the development of the Denton County Texas from the 1870s until the beginning of the Second World War. Specifically, their role in the formation of both private and public infrastructure as well as the facilitation towards a more diverse economy. Key elements of bank development are outlined in the study including private, national, and state bank operations.
High Driver Turnover among Large Long-Haul Motor Carriers: Causes and Consequences
My thesis provides evidence supporting a theory asserting that the high level of competition that exists between motor carriers operating within long-haul trucking is the most significant factor contributing to the continuously high driver turnover rates affecting the entire logistics industry. I explore how long-haul truck drivers internalize the conflict between their identity and the aggressively competitive environment within which they work. Social science authors, industry reports, and truck driver feedback from my own ethnographic study are analyzed for contexts in order to explore the current operating definition of success for motor carriers in both monetary and human terms.
District Leadership Supporting PLC Implementation in a Rapid Growth District
A growing body of work has emerged regarding the responsibilities required of district leaders in establishing plans that initiate and create conditions for sustainability of continuous improvement achieved through a systemic reform structure such as professional learning communities. However, limited research exists in respect to sustaining cultures of continuous improvement in rapid growth districts. Rapid growth districts can be described as school systems, which construct and open multiple campuses annually. The underlying premise of this study considered how humans interact with one another within a rapidly changing professional organization. Change theory, professional capital, organizational learning theory, and system reform emerge as the conceptual framework in this study of district support of professional learning communities. Data collection for this qualitative descriptive case study included interviewing six K-12 principals, administering the PLCA-DS survey to 247 K-12 staff members, and document review. Recognition of the importance of the PLC framework, building capacity, development of collaborative culture, and issues resulting from constant change due to rapid growth were the four themes generated by the participants to support continuous improvement in a rapid growth district. The four themes combined with the components of the conceptual framework outline how district leaders in a rapidly changing environment cultivate a process leading to system-wide improvement.
Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation
With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Acceptability of Behavioral Interventions for Autism
Caregivers' evaluation of evidence-based behavioral interventions may differ dependent upon the type of language used to describe the intervention. We administered a survey to 24 parents of children with autism to assess social validity measures of behavioral interventions described in one of three communication styles: technical, conversational, and conversational with intended outcome. Participants were presented with a description of two behavior-reduction and two behavior-acquisition interventions. Overall, interventions described in conversational with intended outcome style received the highest social validity ratings, while interventions described in the technical style received the lowest ratings. Moreover, behavior-acquisition interventions were rated significantly higher than behavior-reduction interventions when described in either conversational or conversational with intended outcome style. The current study supports the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Compliance Code that behavior analysts should inform the client/consumer of the treatment/interventions in an understandable language. Findings are also discussed in terms of verbal communities.
Coping Strategy as Mediator between Parental Attachment and the Parent-Child Relationship
Previous research has shown that adult attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are associated with both coping strategy use and the parent-child relationship. Additionally, research has shown that coping strategy is associated with aspects of the parent-child relationship. The current study aimed to further examine associations between parental romantic attachment, coping strategy use, and the parent-child relationship. It was hypothesized that coping strategy use would mediate the relationship between parental romantic attachment and aspects of the parent-child relationship. Participants included 86 heterosexual couples (N = 176 parents) from the Family and Kid Connection project archival dataset. Instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, a brief measure of coping, and the Attachment and Relational Frustration Subscales of the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. An actor-partner independence model was proposed and tested via multilevel modeling. Higher levels of parental attachment anxiety predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Father's attachment avoidance also predicted poorer father-child relationships. Higher levels of both parental attachment dimensions predicted greater use of avoidant emotional coping. Finally, greater use of avoidant emotional coping predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Results partially supported proposed mediational hypotheses. Two mediational paths were supported by results: an actor-actor path in which fathers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between fathers' romantic attachment avoidance and father-child attachment, and an actor-actor path in which mothers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between mothers' romantic attachment anxiety and mother-child attachment.
Building an Understanding of International Service Learning in Librarianship
From the very beginning, library education has been a mixture of theory and practice. Dewey required apprenticeships to be part of the first library school at the University of Chicago as a method to indoctrinate new professional. Today, acculturation is incorporated into the professional education through a large variety of experiential learning techniques, including internships, practicum, field work, and service learning projects, all of which are designed to develop some level of professional skills within an information organization. But, what is done for understanding library culture? It is said that one cannot truly recognize the extent of one's own cultural assumptions, until they have experienced another. This study followed a group of LIS graduate students that took that next step – going to Russia. By employing a critical hermeneutic methodology, this study sought to understand what value students gain by from working on an assessment project in an international school library. Using a horizon analysis, the researcher established the worldview of participants prior to their departure, analyzed their experience through post-experience interviews, and constructed an understanding of value. Among other concepts, the researcher looked specifically to see whether "library cultural competency", understanding library culture in global context, was developed through working on a service learning project within an international school library. This dissertation provides feedback for the program leaders and ideas for future research.
The Effects of Feedback Timing when Teaching a New Task to Children with Autism
The purpose of this experiment was to investigate Tosti's proposal about the timing of feedback. The study examined whether it is better to correct immediately after the error occurs or whether it is better to wait until immediately before the next opportunity to respond. In addition, it aimed to determine whether corrections delivered at different times produced different learner affects. Four children with autism were taught to label two sets of pictures under the two different conditions. Results showed that the timing of the feedback yields similar results in regards to number of correct responses and total trial count. However, in regards to time spent in teaching and learner affect, correcting errors before the next opportunity to respond showed to be the more efficient procedure and produced more favorable affect.
Instructional Coaching in a Small District: A Mixed Methods Study of Teachers' Concerns
This study utilized a convergent parallel mixed methods design to study teachers' concerns during implementation of instructional coaching for math in a rural PK-12 district in north Texas over a three-year time period. Five campuses were included in the study: one high school (grades 9-12), one middle school (grades 6-8), and three elementary campuses (pre-kindergarten through grade 5). In a school district of 3,400 students and 241 teachers, fifty-two math teachers were surveyed and interviewed for their perceptions and concerns during implementation of instructional math coaching in order to assist central office administration in knowing how to support teachers through the change process. Data included the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) at three points during the study period analyzed through nonparametric statistical analysis. No statistically significant differences were found to exist between campuses. However, a statistically significant difference was found when campuses were grouped by elementary and secondary campuses. Open-Ended Statements of Concern and focus group interview data by campus served as qualitative data to triangulate concerns and to measure situational evidence of rurality influence on teachers' concerns. Convergence of qualitative and quantitative findings indicate concerns clustered in unconcerned, informational, and personal stages. Evidence of rural contextual influences point to limited resources and dense staff relationships in rural schools. This data aids the district under study in supporting teachers through the process of change as an instructional coaching program for math is implemented systemically.
Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education
Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Using Relational Responding to Examine the Acquisition of Mindfulness and Meditation Material: An Analogue Study
Mindfulness meditation is a growing area of interest for both mental health professionals and the general public alike. Beneficial outcomes are associated with these practices, although the variety of measurement techniques makes research difficult to interpret. Definitions of these constructs are varied, and anecdotal accounts point to the idea that many people hold misconceptions about mindfulness and meditation, even when meanings are made clear. Still, no formal research has been published on misconceptions of mindfulness – or, if they exist, how such misinformation affects acquisition of related skills. Furthermore, mindfulness has been incorporated into therapeutic modalities without much consideration for context, including the client's learning history. The current analogue study examined how the presentation of mindfulness meditations (i.e., inaccurate rationale/meditation and accurate rationale/meditation) affects an individual's practice. Specifically, self-reported mindfulness and meditation skills, mood questionnaires, a matching-to-sample task, and qualitative measurements were used to assess acquisition. Although primary hypotheses did not yield significant findings, results from both preliminary and exploratory analyses demonstrate significant findings with regard to teaching, learning, and measurement related to mindfulness meditation. The results, future directions, and limitations are discussed.
Adolescents' Social Networking Use and Its Relationship to Attachment and Mental Health
Adolescents spend much of their time using the internet and electronic media. Since its inception, the use of online social networking (OSN) sites by adolescents continues to grow. With the proliferation of OSN, it is critical to examine how this activity affects psychological development, but better measurement tools are needed. As researchers struggle to keep up with this rapidly growing field, many gaps remain in the literature investigating the interrelations between adolescent's OSN use and mental health outcomes. Research examining the relationship between OSN and mental health outcomes, specifically depression and anxiety, has produced mixed results suggesting that other factors influence this association. A large research literature documents associations between attachment and mental health. Given that attachment also affects interpersonal communication, several studies have investigated links between attachment and OSN use in adult and college populations. Results indicated that even though attachment to father was independently related to anxiety and depression symptoms, it was not a significant moderator for mental health and OSN. Attachment to mother was a significant moderator for anxiety and depression and several OSN subscales. Based on this information, a greater focus on youth's interpersonal connection and social skills both online and offline may be beneficial when treating adolescents experiencing anxiety or depression.
The Story of Pathfinders [Family Pathfinders]: Investigating the Impact, Experiences, and Context of Re-Entry Mentoring
The United States has the largest population of imprisoned persons in the world. The vast majority of these individuals eventually leave prison and re-enter society, facing a number of challenges in the process. Those who are unable to successfully re-enter society run the risk of recidivating back into the prison system. Mentoring has the potential to promote successful re-entry and help offenders to get their lives back on track. Pathfinders of Tarrant County is a unique organization. Its historical position as one of the foremost "welfare to work" programs gives it unique insight into the economic struggles of at-risk individuals and families, and its existing relationships with mentors and other community organizations gives it a rich pool of resources to draw from. By helping to connect participants with community resources, Pathfinders removes quite a bit of the complexity from seeking help at a time when vulnerable people need it most. This thesis presents an overview of how Pathfinders conducts mentoring and its unique brand of social service advocacy, including the unique and not-so unique challenges that a re-entry population may have to offer.
Drought: Construction of a Social Problem
Drought is a complex subject that has varied definitions and perspectives. Although drought has historically been characterized as an environmental problem from both the meteorological and agricultural communities, it is not considered a sociological disaster despite its severe societal impacts. Utilizing the framework developed by Spector and Kitsuse (2011) and Stallings (1995), this research examines the process through which drought is defined as a social problem. An analysis of the data revealed drought was well covered in Africa, India, China, Australia, and New Zealand, yet very little coverage focused on the United States. There were less than 10 articles discussing drought and drought impacts in the United States. The workshops/meetings examined also were lacking in the attention to drought, although their overall theme was focused on hazards and resilience. Six sessions in over 16 years of meetings/workshops focused on the topic of drought, and one session was focused on the condition in Canada. The interviews uncovered five thematic areas demonstrating drought understanding and awareness: Use of outreach to get the message out; agricultures familiarity with drought; the role of drought in media; the variability of what drought is; and water conservation. Drought's claims-makers who are dedicated to providing outreach and education to impacted communities. Drought is often overlooked due to its slow onset and evolving development makes it difficult to determine when to engage in recovery efforts. Drought defined as a social problem also expands theoretical conversations regarding what events or issues should be included within the sociological disaster list of topics.
Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys
Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
Characterization of Aprotic Solutes and Solvents using Abraham Model Correlations
Experimental data were obtained for the computation of mole fraction solubilities of three dichloronitrobenzenes in organic solvents at 25oC, and solubility ratios were obtained from this data. Abraham model equations were developed for solutes in tributyl phosphate that describe experimental values to within 0.15 log units, and correlations were made to describe solute partitioning in systems that contain either "wet" or "dry" tributyl phosphate. Abraham model correlations have also been developed for solute transfer into anhydrous diisopropyl ether, and these correlations fit in well with those for other ethers. Abraham correlations for the solvation of enthalpy have been derived from experimental and literature data for mesitylene, p-xylene, chlorobenzene, and 1,2-dichlorobenzene at 298.15 K. In addition, the enthalpy contribution of hydrogen bonding between these solutes and acidic solvents were predicted by these correlations and were in agreement with an established method. Residual plots corresponding to Abraham models developed in all of these studies were analyzed for trends in error between experimental and calculated values.
Commissioning Music for Trombone and Percussion: A Collaboration Between Composer and Performer with an Accompanying Survey of Trombone and Percussion Repertoire
The repertoire for trombone and percussion has grown in popularity since the later 1980s. There are currently more than 110 pieces written for the ensemble. This project follows the commissioning and collaboration of Dr. Blake Tyson, Professor of Percussion at the University of Central Arkansas and well known percussion composer, in the creation of a new piece for trombone and percussion. The project also created a survey of works for trombone and percussion duet that includes 32 works. The survey includes details such as specific percussion instrumentation range, tessitura, grade level, publisher, and a description of each piece.
STEM Professional Volunteers in K-12 Competition Programs: Educator Practices and Impact on Pedagogy
This mixed methods dissertation study explored how secondary school educators in specific K-12 competition programs recruited and deployed STEM professional volunteers. The study explored which practices were viewed as most important, and how practices related to constructivist pedagogy, all from the viewpoint of educators. The non-positivist approach sought new knowledge without pursuing generalized results. Review of the literature uncovered extensive anecdotal information about current practices, and suggested that large investments are made in engaging volunteers. One National Science Foundation-sponsored study was identified, and its recommendations for a sustained research agenda were advanced. Three study phases were performed, one to explore practices and operationalize definitions, a second to rate practice's importance and their relation to pedagogy, and a third to seek explanations. Educators preferred recruiting local, meaning recruiting parents and former students, versus from industry or other employers. Most educators preferred volunteers with mentoring skills, and placing them in direct contact with students, versus deploying volunteers to help with behind-the-scenes tasks supporting the educator. Relationships were identified between the highest-rated practices and constructivism in programs. In STEM professional volunteers, educators see affordances, in the same way a classroom tool opens affordances. A model is proposed which shows educators considering practicality, pedagogy, knowledge and skills, and rapport when accessing the affordances opened by STEM professional volunteers. Benefits are maximized when programs align with strong industry clusters in the community.
The Museum is the Object: An Action Research Study in How Critical Theory Curriculum Influences Student Understanding of an Art Museum
The purpose of this action research study was to determine how a critical theory curriculum implemented in a college-level art appreciation course impacted student understanding of an encyclopedic art museum. A critical theory-based curriculum unit was designed and implemented, and students were given assignments to assess their learning. The most significant assignment centered on a self-guided student visit to the art museum in which students made detailed observations of the museum spaces and responded to articles critiquing museum practices. These documents, together with class discussions and my personal observations, were analyzed and described in this research study. The data revealed that students had a high level of regard for and interest in art museums, were capable of understanding how history and context influences museum practices, detected multiple instances of bias in art museum galleries, and self-reported high levels of cognition and empowerment based on their experiences. The data suggested that, in college students, both art appreciation instructors and museum educators have an ideal audience in which to facilitate sustained, higher-level, critical theory-based museum learning experiences.
Adult Learning: Evaluation of Preferences for Technology and Learning Sources for Workplace Learning
The purpose of this research was to provide an initial investigation of the preferences for both technology and learning sources that are available today in the modern workplace at a large financial institution with a national presence in the USA. In addition to the preferences of the participants, the research includes insights about the culture of the learning organization by using the Dimension of Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) and two preference surveys. The research methods used in this study are categorized as mixed methods and include both quantitative and qualitative methods. This study is nonpositivist and descriptive. It is based on a triangulation design method which is comprised of analysis from data obtained from the DLOQ and preference surveys, as well as semi-structured interviews with several survey participants. The results of the studies provide the foundational information for an extended quantitative analysis.
Framework to Evaluate Entropy Based Data Fusion Methods in Supply Chain Management
This dissertation explores data fusion methodology to deduce an overall inference from the data gathered from multiple heterogeneous sources. Typically, if there existed a data source in which the data were reliable and unbiased, then data fusion would not be necessary. Data fusion methodology combines data form multiple diverse sources so that the desired information - such as the population mean - is improved despite redundancies, inaccuracies, biases, and inflated variability in the data. Examples of data fusion include estimating average demand from similar sources, and integrating fatality counts from different media sources after a catastrophe. The approach in this study combines "inputs" from distinct sources so that the information is "fused." Another way of describing this process is "data integration." Important assumptions are 1. Several sources provide "inputs" for information used to estimate parameters of a probability distribution. 2. Since distributions for the data from the sources are heterogeneous, some sources are less reliable. 3. Distortions, bias, censorship, and systematic errors may be more prominent in data from certain sources. 4. The sample size of sources data, number of "inputs," may be very small. Examples of information from multiple sources are abundant: traffic information from sensors at intersections, multiple economic indicators from various sources, demand data for product using similar retail stores as sources, polling data from various sources, and disaster count of fatalities from different media sources after a catastrophic event. This dissertation seeks to address a gap in the operations literature by addressing three research questions regarding entropy base data fusion (EBDF) approaches to estimation. Three separate, but unifying, essays address the research questions for this dissertation. Essay 1 provides an overview of supporting literature for the research questions. A numerical analysis of airline maximum wait time data illustrates the underlying issues involved in EBDF methods. This ...
Simulink Based Modeling of a Multi Global Navigation Satellite System
The objective of this thesis is to design a model for a multi global navigation satellite system using Simulink. It explains a design procedure which includes the models for transmitter and receiver for two different navigation systems. To overcome the problem, where less number of satellites are visible to determine location degrades the performance of any positioning system significantly, this research has done to make use of multi GNSS satellite signals in one navigation receiver.
Musical Ekphrasis in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes
Musical ekphrasis was occurring in the twentieth century in different centers around the world, Cuba: Andalusia, Spain; and Harlem, New York, simultaneously. The writers at the heart of this movement used poetry about music as a means to celebrate the cultures of the marginalized people in their lands, los negros, los gitanos, and African-Americans. The purpose of this study is to define musical ekphrasis and identify it in the works of Nicolás Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Langston Hughes. Also explored are the common characteristics in ekphrastic poetry by the three poets and the common themes found in their ekphrastic poetry, as well as common influences. Each author is considered in the context of his surroundings and his respective culture, and how that influenced his musical tastes as well as his writing style.
Associations between Collaborative Learning and Personality/Cognitive Style among Online Community College Students
This research study investigated associations between online community college students' personal characteristics and experiences in online courses (n = 123). Specifically, students' personalities and cognitive styles were examined alongside the perceived quality and outcomes of collaboration. Negative correlations were found between the conscientiousness personality style and both the quality of collaboration (p = .09) and the outcome of collaboration (p = .05). This finding indicates that conscientious students who, according to the literature tend to have higher academic achievement than other students, perceive negative experiences in online collaborative environments. Conversely, a positive correlation was discovered between the extraversion personality type and the perceived outcomes of collaboration (p = .01). Thus, students with a strongly extraverted personality tend to perceive that they benefits from collaborative learning. Approximately 11% of the variance in the collaborative experience was explained by the combined personal characteristics. The reported frequency of collaboration was positively correlated with both the quality (p < .01) and the outcomes of collaboration (p < .01). While not generalizable, these results suggest that not all students perceive benefits from online collaborative learning. It may be worthwhile to teach students traits associated with the extraversion type like flexibility which is important for collaborative learning. Also, teaching students to adopt traits associated with conscientiousness that improve academic achievement like self-regulation may help improve perceptions of collaborative experiences.
Assessing the Older Diabetic Population in the US: A Descriptive Look at This Population from 2001-2010 Focusing upon Education and Clinical Behaviors
The focus of this research study was to gain needed information on the older adult population in the United States who have diabetes. The research method was quantitative retrospective study of American diabetes obtained from the National Health Interview Survey database from 2001 through 2010. The study results confirmed more than one-third of the U.S. diabetics are aged 65 and older. More than 75% of the older diabetic population report clinical limitations or comorbidities. Based on surrogate markers of education, it appears the older diabetic cohort did receive more preventative care visits than did the older nondiabetic population; however, the difference was not robust. I found a slight negative trend between age and emergency room visits in the older diabetic population; in addition, there was a negative association between age and smoking in this population. There continues to be a need for scientific research in this population. Greater numbers need education and more clinical trials specific to the older diabetic should be encouraged.
An Evaluation of the Effects of Effort on Resistance to Change
Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has become a prominent method of studying the effects of reinforcement on operant behavior. BMT represents a departure from the Skinnerian tradition in that it identifies the strength of responding with its resistance to change. Like in many other operant research paradigms, however, responses are considered to be momentary phenomena and so little attention has been paid to non-rate dimensions of responding. The current study takes up the question of whether or not the degree of effort defining a discriminated operant class has any meaningful effect on its resistance to change. Using a force transducer, rats responded on a two-component multiple VI 60-s VI 60-s schedule where each component was correlated with a different force requirement. Resistance to change was tested through prefeeding and extinction. Proportional declines in response rate were equal across components during all disruption tests. Differentiated response classes remained intact throughout. The negative result suggests several future research directions.
Defect Behaviors in Zinc Oxide and Zinc Titanates Ceramics from First Principles Computer Simulations
ZnO and ZnO-TiO2 ceramics have intriguing electronic and mechanical properties and find applications in many fields. Many of these properties and applications rely on the understanding of defects and defect processes in these oxides as these defects control the electronic, catalytic and mechanical behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to systematically study the defects and defects behaviors in Wurtzite ZnO and Ilmenite ZnTiO3 by using first principles calculations and classical simulations employing empirical potentials. Firstly, the behavior of intrinsic and extrinsic point defects in ZnO and ZnTiO3 ceramics were investigated. Secondly, the effect of different surface absorbents and surface defects on the workfunction of ZnO were studied using DFT calculations. The results show that increasing the surface coverage of hydrocarbons decreased the workfunction. Lastly, the stacking fault behaviors on ilmenite ZnTiO3 were investigated by calculating the Generalized Stacking Fault (GSF) energies using density functional theory based first principles calculations and classical calculations employing effective partial charge inter-atomic potentials. The gamma-surfaces of two low energy surfaces, (110) and (104), of ZnTiO3 were fully mapped and, together with other analysis such as ideal shear stress calculations.